What is an HDB Executive Apartment – How Do They Differ From Jumbo & 5-Room HDB Flats?

18 August 2023 | BY

What’s the difference between an Executive Flat, a jumbo flat, and a 5-room HDB flat? You’re about to find out.

HDB Executive Apartment - cover

The luxury of space will always be greatly appreciated, especially on our compact little red dot where land is scarce. While extravagant tai tai wardrobes the size of bedrooms are often synonymous with landed properties, there is an alternative solution within HDB estates – an executive apartment. 

How big is an Executive Apartment (EA)?

Similar to a regular 4 or 5-room HDB flat, an executive apartment (EA) features the typical layout of 1 master bedroom and 2 common bedrooms. The concept of executive apartments was first introduced in 1984 as an affordable alternative to spacious – but pricey – housing options, and were the largest flats constructed by HDB besides executive maisonette. 

High-rise HDB flatsImage credit: Carousell

With average sizes ranging from 141 to 156 sqm, executive apartments offer comparable living space to 5-room flats, which range from 110 to 130 sqm, but at a more affordable price.

What is the difference between an EA and a normal HDB

There’s a unique feature that sets EAs apart from other HDB flats – an additional space usually located next to the living room, which can be converted into a balcony space, maid’s bedroom, or study area when partition walls are added. 

HDB Executive Apartment - breakfast bar counterImage credit: Swiss Interior

Whether it’s creating designated workspaces, adding greenery, or simply having more room to entertain, EAs offer plenty of opportunities for creativity and adaptation. Not only do you get a spacious living area, but also the flexibility to expand and customise your living space. 

Where can you find HDB EAs

Unlike jumbo flats, which are primarily concentrated in 5 housing locations in Singapore, EAs can be found in most housing estates, interspersed among other HDB flats. Currently, platforms such as PropertyGuru offer a range of EA listings, mostly in areas such as Yishun, Woodlands, Ang Mo Kio, and Sengkang. 

HDB Executive Apartment - facadeImage credit: SRX 

The list isn’t exhaustive – we encourage prospective homeowners to survey the property market to discover EA listings in other promising locations throughout the island.

The end of Executive Apartments

Sadly, slightly over a decade later, the era of EAs came to an end. In its place, a new player emerged on the housing scene – the Executive Condominium (EC). 

HDB Executive Apartment - diningImage credit: @ochre.home

With condominium-style features and significantly government-subsidised prices, ECs quickly stole the spotlight. The new offering gave Singaporeans another enticing housing option alongside HDB flats – one that’s more atas

While the EAs may have taken their final bow, their legacy lives on, reminding us of a time when larger living spaces were within reach and imagination had room to roam.

Is an EA worth buying?

For prospective homeowners exploring alternatives to the competitive BTO bidding process, EAs present a potential housing option to consider – especially if you’re planning to have a big family. 

HDB Executive Apartment - huge living roomImage credit: @ukino.home

Plus, with their larger floor areas compared to most HDB flats on the market, you have the ability to expand your hosting capabilities or transform your humble abode into a perfect multi-gen family home. 

While EAs are nestled in older communities, they provide a golden opportunity to uncover hidden gems and enjoy the convenience of having various amenities that have stood the test of time at your doorstep.

EAs in Singapore

executive condominiumsImage credit: PropNex

So if you’re a growing family or someone looking for more room to live and entertain, consider purchasing an EA, which can be a worthy investment that combines comfort, affordability, and the freedom to personalise your living space.

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Cover image from: Carousell, Studio Abbey, Aart Boxx Interior

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